August Volunteer Work Party

Join us August 15th (3rd Saturday) for our volunteer work party. Meet at Barlow Pass gate. Feel free to let us know to expect you so we can wait for your arrival. Realize there is zero phone reception once outside Granite Falls, so no means to make contact the morning of the work party.

Due to USFS restrictions, we’ll mainly be doing brushing and maintenance work on the county roadway. We may opt to paint the county gate at Barlow should anyone be interested in that task.

Please plan to arrive prior to 9:00 so we can tag up and disperse at 9:00.

July 18, 2020 Work Party

Meet us at Barlow Pass gate at 9:00 AM for our July work party. The Forest Service has yet to lift the restriction on working on FS property, so we will not be working on the cabin roof or other townsite work. There is much brushing and maintenance needed on the county road, which is a prime candidate for work. Come prepared for the weather, which currently is looking to be cloudy but dry.

Please plan to arrive prior to 9:00 so we can tag up and disperse at 9:00.

2020 Work Party Plans

The MCPA’s 2020 work party dates are set and will commence on June 20.

Volunteer work parties are always the 3rd Saturday of the month starting in June and going into fall as weather permits (typically October). This will include (at a minimum) June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19 and October 17.

We will always meet at the Barlow Pass gate (adjacent to trailhead parking for Monte Cristo, Gothic Basin and Barlow Point trails) with intent to depart at 9:00, so plan to arrive by 8:45 to be safe. Barlow Pass is 30 miles east of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop highway; plan on a 40 minute drive from Granite.

Once everyone has gathered at Barlow we will disperse to locations deemed relevant for the day’s planned work. This may include work on the old county road/trail from Barlow, work on the old railway route heading west from Barlow, or driving into the town to perform work in the townsite and adjacent trails. We will always have room for ride sharing into the townsite; a capable all wheel drive vehicle is necessary.

This year we are considering the idea of having some 2-day work parties with a Saturday to Sunday overnight stay. This would significantly increase the time available for work in the townsite as driving both to Barlow and into the townsite can easily consume 4 hours round trip, so getting two days work out of that trip would be a huge benefit. We’ll provide more details on these plans as they materialize. Certainly this will not be the plan for the June 20 work party, but could occur as early as July.

Plans for this years work parties include completing the re-roofing project on Forest Service Cabin #4, preparing the grounds and installing our interpretative signage on the MCPA townsite lots, further assessment and preparations for the planned interpretative structure/facade, and the ever present need to do brushing work within the townsite and adjoining trails. We are fortunate to have been able to keep these public areas well maintained and within check. Without our constant upkeep on these areas, the historical townsite, especially the former rail yard (where the Forest Service cabins are) would be completely overgrown, versus the beautiful grass meadow it is today.

Please bring weather appropriate gear and sufficient nourishment for your attendance. A typical work party will last until early afternoon, with a expected departure from the townsite by 3:00. Due to restrictions on the CERCLA road gate key and the slow travel speed, it is prohibitive to arrange for more than one entry and exit from the townsite (exception: when we do plan an overnight stay, volunteers who can only attend one day will be accommodated).

MCPA can always provide ground and brushing tools, but feel free to bring your own (clippers, trimmers, hand saws, chain saws, etc) so that there is ample to go around. MCPA will always supply any tools or supplies needed for construction work.

Feel free to email us as listed on the “Contact” page if you have questions on work party plans. Also let us know if you do plan to attend a work party so we can know who to expect at Barlow. We don’t want to leave anyone behind!

2020 Winter Social Event – February 1st 5:30pm

Our 2020 Annual Winter Social is February 1st at 5:30pm.

Fred Cruger from the Granite Falls Historical Museum will be giving a presentation on the recent tools and techniques being used for historical preservation and education. Fred will highlight several tools available to the public online with an emphasis on the information relevant to the Monte Cristo Mining Area.

The Winter Social is to start at 5:30 pm with a potluck dinner (doors to be open at 5:00 for set-up). Please bring food (main, side or dessert) and serving utensils for the potluck. The location is the same as usual: Jennings Memorial Park in Marysville, also known as “The Barn”. The event is typically finished by 8:00.

Directions: “The Barn” At Jennings Memorial Park 6915 Armar Road, Marysville, WA
Going north on I-5, exit #199 at Marysville and go right (east) on 4th St, about 3⁄4 miles. Then turn left (north) on 47th–this becomes Armar Rd. At approximately 1⁄2 mile, turn right into Jennings Memorial Park driveway. The Barn is about 300 feet from the Armar Road entrance. Going south on I-5, exit #200 (88th St) and go east to State Ave. Turn right on State and go south, about 1 mile to John Anderson St (also called, “Grove St.”). Turn left on Grove St. and go east .7 miles to 51st. Then turn right (south) on 51st (Armar Road), about .2 miles to Jennings Memorial Park. The Barn is about 300 feet from the Armar Road entrance.

Also – Annual Dues for 2020 are now due. $25 for new and renewing members, covers the entire calendar year. Membership form available at the top menu of the MCPA website. You may also pay the dues in person at the February 1st event.

October 19 work party cancelled

Due to several inches of rain forecast for the next few days, we have decided to cancel the work party scheduled for October 19. If there is any chance of another work party in the 2019 season/year we will post an update here.

Thanks to all our volunteers who helped at work parties this year.

Volunteer Work Party September 21, 2019

Our next 2019 work party is scheduled for Saturday September 21 (always the 3rd Saturday of the month).

In august we had a great turnout and volunteers accomplished a lot of trail work and brushing around the townsite cabins. We also completed some structural repairs on the Forest Service resort cabin #4 (up above the lodge site) and completed preparing the roof for new shingles (at least on the first half/side). Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with labor and packing materials and tools to the work sites.

A sizable job for this months work party will be installing the shingles on the now repaired roof of cabin #4. This job has consumed much of the year-to-date work parties and we hope to have that half of the roof replaced before the end of the season. Several volunteer’s help can be used to assist with others who will be installing the shingles, so even if you don’t enjoy working on roofs, you can still help from the ground.

Plan to meet at Barlow pass for a 9:00 departure to the new road and gate. You need not park at barlow – just come find us at the old gate and we’ll direct you towards the new gate. We’ll plan on having our entire crew mobile on the new road by 9:10. If you want to volunteer but need a ride we can certainly provide room to get you into the townsite.

We’ll plan on working in the townsite until about 3:00 so please plan on staying that duration. We will likely only have 1 key to the gate meaning we must all make one entrance and one exit.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions.

Also notable – David Hartze put the final touches on the new MCPA bulletin board on the old county road – giving visitors good guidance on reaching Monte Cristo and providing MCPA a permanent place to post Monte Cristo and MCPA information. A photo of the newly completed board is shown below.

Work Party Saturday August 17 9:00AM

Join us Saturday August 17 for our next summer volunteer work party in the Monte Cristo Townsite. Main project will be working on installing the roofing on resort cabin #4 and doing some structural repairs to the same. There will be plenty of work to accomplish on the ground as well, such as handing up materials, hauling materials into town and townsite brush clearing.

Meet us at the barlow pass gate in time to leave at 9:00. Please RSVP via email as found on the “contact us” page so we’ll know who to expect and/or wait for. We’ll begin congregating at the barlow gate by 8:30 and will plan to leave for town (via the new road) at 9:00. Remember there is no cell phone service once past Verlot so there is no meands to tell is you’re running late.

We’ll plan to be working in town until 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Volunteers and members are welcome; we can provide transportation into town if your vehicle is not capable of the high clearance road.

July 20 Work Party Details

We are all set to go on the July 20 Saturday work party. Plan is to meet up at Barlow Pass and depart @ 9:00 to head in to the town. Current plan is to work until 2:00 PM, although if there is sufficient work and willingness remaining, we’ll also accommodate a later exit time. A 2:00 PM exodus really only amounts to 4 hours of work time in the townsite, so that should be considered the earliest exit time.

The materials for Cabin #4 re-roof project are loaded and ready to truck to the townsite bridge – from where many hands and feet will be needed to transport them to Cabin 4. There are a lot of pieces, but taken in small amounts in should not be a difficult job. I will bring a handtruck for assisting with the shingle bundles; feel free to bring a wheelbarrow or handtruck of your own if possible.

In addition to moving the materials and additional work on tearing off the old cabin #4 roof, we can also use construction help installing the new sheathing boards and there is ample brushcutting that can be done around the townsite. In other words, if you come, we’ll have work for you.

July 20 2019 Work Party Scheduled

Any and all members and volunteers are welcome to join us on July 20 for a MCPA work party in the Monte Cristo Townsite. Our main project for the day will be working on replacing the townsite cabin #4’s roof. Part of the roof was removed at the 6/15 work party and on 7/20 we plan to haul in supplies and begin reconstructing the roof. Much manpower will be needed to haul in supplies from the townsite bridge/parking area to the cabin just uphill from the railyard/grassy area (about 1000 feet). Carpentry work will be available for anyone inclined to work on the roof as well. Townsite cleanup and trail work is always available for anyone to tackle as well.

Meet us at Barlow Pass gate for a 9:00 departure into the townsite via the new Forest Service access road.

Any questions of to confirm your availability, contact us as listed on the “Contact” page above. While not necessary (you can just show up by 9:00 Saturday) it is nice to have an idea who we should be expecting.

Pictures of the work-in-progress on cabin #4 roof from June 15:

Also photos of the new Bulletin Board David Hartze built and installed along the Barlow Pass route at the June 15 work party:

June 15 2019 Work Party

Our first work party of 2019 will be Saturday June 15 – the earliest possible 3rd Saturday of a month. Meet at Barlow Pass gate for reconnaissance and a 9:00 AM start (we typically arrive as early as 8:30….and we may begin selected projects earlier as deemed possible; feel free to contact us with any specific needs or questions).

We have not traveled to the townsite yet this season, so may spend the day removing windfalls on the county and remediation roads, and possibly constructing a new billboard near the clayslide. Otherwise work for the day will likely consist of general townsite brush cleanup and preparations for the upcoming tourist season. Bring ground and brush tools, and as always, be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather.